Newly elected Port Angeles port commissioner to be in office four years, not six

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — With the overwhelming passage of Port of Port Angeles Proposition 2 in Tuesday’s general election, newly elected District 2 Port Commissioner Colleen McAleer will serve four years instead of six before she faces re-election.

“The voters have spoken, so that’s fine,” McAleer said Wednesday.

But because the proposition results in a majority of the board — two commissioners — facing re-election every four years, board President John Calhoun is considering asking 24th District state Reps. Steve Tharinger and Kevin Van De Wege, both of Sequim, to push for legislation that would stagger port elections.

If a majority of the board is replaced in one election, “it can be disruptive,” he said.

As of Tuesday night’s count, Proposition 2, which reduces the term from six years to four years for all three port commissioner seats, was being approved by 12,389 voters in favor, or 87.1 percent, compared with 1,828 voters opposed, or 12.9 percent.

Proposition 1, which would have expanded the number of board seats to five, was headed for defeat, with 8,411 voters opposed, or 59.6 percent, compared with 5,708 in favor, or 40.4 percent.

Four-year terms

New four-year terms also will be applied to the West End District 3 seat held by board President John Calhoun when he faces re-election in 2015 and when Port Angeles-area District 2 Port Commissioner Jim Hallett faces re-election in 2017, the same year as McAleer.

Calhoun has said he will not seek re-election in 2015.

Calhoun said Port Angeles and Sequim voters might have opposed Proposition 1 in the belief it would take away their influence on the board.

“Folks that would gain clearly would be people in the West End,” he said.

“It just wasn’t compelling for the rest of the county.”

Voters also might have perceived the measure as “increasing government, and people may not have wanted to make it complicated and have more government than they have now.”

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 06. 2013 5:57PM
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